Six New Athlon II CPUs: AMD Impresses With Switch And Bait

New AMD Athlon II CPUs: The Switch-And-Bait

The bait-and-switch is a sales tactic employed by peddlers of questionable integrity. The idea is to advertise a product or service at a low price and, once the customer is lured into the store, claim that that the advertised product is sold out, but that an inferior one can be purchased for the same price.

For the second time in 2010, AMD is performing the opposite of the bait-and-switch. There are six new Athlon II processors being introduced, and all sport a 100 MHz clock increase over their predecessors (200 MHz in the case of the Athlon II X3 415e) for the same price as the previous models. The replaced models will, of course, be available at a lower price. This is the sort of tactic that has sleazy used-car salesmen across the globe collectively scratching their heads.

Now, to put things in perspective, technology does tend to become cheaper over time. Having said that, a couple hundred MHz over a few months is welcome, no matter how you slice it. In addition, these CPUs are created on a new C3 version of silicon. Thus, there's also the potential for higher overclocks (something we'll be exploring in a future review).

For now, let's look at the new revisions in the Athlon II lineup:

Athlon II X2 260


Athlon II X2 260Athlon II X2 255Athlon II X2 250
Codename: RegorRegorRegor
Process: 45 nm 45 nm 45 nm
CPU Cores: 2 2 2
Clock Speed: 3.2 GHz
3.1 GHz3.0 GHz
Socket: AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3
L1 Cache: 2 x 64KB
2 x 64KB2 x 64KB
L2 Cache: 2 x 1MB
2 x 1MB2 x 1MB
HyperTransport: 4,000 MT/s
4,000 MT/s4,000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
65W
65W65W

Up until now, AMD has reserved the 3.2 GHz clock speed for the premium Phenom II line. Aside from that, the new C3 stepping allows for DDR2-1066 and DDR3-1333 support. The Athlon II X2 260 represents a good processor for the majority of casual users. Internet surfers and document editors will be happy with this model and its $76 MSRP, but multi-taskers and gamers might be happier with the Athlon II X3.

Athlon II X3 445


Athlon II X3 445Athlon II X3 440
Athlon II X3 435
Codename: RanaRanaRana
Process: 45 nm 45 nm 45 nm
CPU Cores: 3
33
Clock Speed: 3.1 GHz
3.0 GHz2.9 GHz
Socket: AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3
L1 Cache:   3 x 64KB
3 x 64KB3 x 64KB
L2 Cache:   3 x 512KB
3 x 512KB3 x 512KB
HyperTransport: 4,000 MT/s
4,000 MT/s4,000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
95W
95W95W

The 3.1 GHz Athlon II X3 is getting even better, running 200 MHz faster than the original 435 model that impressed us upon its launch with a great price/performance ratio. We like this processor's combination of high clock speed, triple-core configuration for basic multitasking and gaming use, and sub-$90 price tag.

Athlon II X4 635


Athlon II X4 640Athlon II X4 635
Athlon II X4 630
Codename: PropusPropusPropus
Process: 45 nm 45 nm 45 nm
CPU Cores: 4
44
Clock Speed: 3.0 GHz
2.9 GHz2.8 GHz
Socket: AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3
L1 Cache:   4 x 64KB
4 x 64KB4 x 64KB
L2 Cache:   4 x 512KB
4 x 512KB4 x 512KB
HyperTransport: 4,000 MT/s
4,000 MT/s4,000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
95W
95W95W

The new Athlon II X4 640 pushes budget quad-core performance to 3.0 GHz. This has the markings of a strong workstation processor with a $122 MSRP, although Intel does offer up compelling competition at this level with the Core i3-530. We're looking forward to pitting these CPUs against one another in an upcoming roundup.

Energy-Efficient Models:

Athlon II X2 245e


Athlon II X2 245e
Athlon II X2 240e
Codename: RegorRegor
Process: 45 nm 45 nm
CPU Cores: 2
2
Clock Speed: 2.9 GHz
2.8 GHz
Socket: AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3
L1 Cache: 2 x 64KB
2 x 64KB
L2 Cache: 2 x 1MB2 x 1MB
HyperTransport: 4,000 MT/s
4,000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
45W
45W

The new Athlon II X2 245e sports a modest 2.9 GHz clock speed. But at a similar $77 price as the Athlon II X2 640, it's a hard sell to recommend the 20W savings in exchange for a 300 MHz clock speed reduction. This is likely a model that will be most attractive to businesses with large PC deployments, which stand to save on large-scale power reductions and can get away with a performance compromise.

Athlon II X3 415e


Athlon II X3 415e
Athlon II X3 405e
Codename: RanaRana
Process: 45 nm 45 nm
CPU Cores: 3
3
Clock Speed: 2.5 GHz
2.3 GHz
Socket: AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3
L1 Cache:   3 x 64KB
3 x 64KB
L2 Cache:   3 x 512KB
3 x 512KB
HyperTransport: 4,000 MT/s
4,000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
45W
45W

The 415e actually provides the only 200 MHz increase in this processor refresh. At $102, the 2.5 GHz Athlon II X3 415e isn't about performance though; it's charter is delivering optimal performance-per-watt. Its 45W max TDP is perhaps most promising in HTPC applications.

Athlon II X4 610e


Athlon II X4 610e
Athlon II X4 605e
Codename: PropusPropus
Process: 45 nm 45 nm
CPU Cores: 4
4
Clock Speed: 2.4 GHz
2.3 GHz
Socket: AM2+/AM3AM2+/AM3
L1 Cache:   4 x 64KB
4 x 64KB
L2 Cache:   4 x 512KB
4 x 512KB
HyperTransport: 4,000 MT/s
4,000 MT/s
Thermal Envelope:
45W
45W

The new Athlon II X4 610e represents AMD's quad-core offering to low-power workstation users. Weighing in with a 45W TDP, this CPU sports a similar 100 MHz clock increase over the Athlon II X4 605e, but the anemic 2.4 GHz clock and $143 price tag will likely not inspire the performance-hungry. Again, though, this processor is more about augmenting efficiency.

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    Top Comments
  • thejerk
    zehpavoraWhat I could get from this was that AMD sells a long lasting processor (its technology is in the market for some time) for less money. Since this processor has a history, it performs in a very bad way compared to Intel's same level processors.However, to keep everything at lower prices, AMD bumps the core speed a little so you still use older technology, but it's faster. Blah blah blah...


    Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4

    Intel did it for nine years while operating under AMD's superior performance after the release of the original Athlon processor. Intel released the Pentium 4, and kept pushing clock speed to keep up with AMD, until they hit a brick wall and reinvented the wheel to give us the Core architecture.
    28
  • werxen
    45 watt TDP!!! I like!
    25
  • Dekasav
    So, zehpavora, you run the $1K 980X, right? 'Cause, there's no point in saving money to perform less.
    25
  • Other Comments
  • werxen
    45 watt TDP!!! I like!
    25
  • rooseveltdon
    AMD FTW!!!!!
    18
  • zehpavora
    What I could get from this was that AMD sells a long lasting processor (its technology is in the market for some time) for less money. Since this processor has a history, it performs in a very bad way compared to Intel's same level processors.

    However, to keep everything at lower prices, AMD bumps the core speed a little so you still use older technology, but it's faster.

    Don't get me wrong, I rather use more money to buy a state of the art processor than buying something that is technologically old for a good price. Why? Because there is no point in saving money to perform less.

    I'm not a fanboy. I'm just stating the things I think and the things I could get from the article. If people needed a "faster core" like that, they could easily get a overclock. Even though a lot of people don't know what it is...

    In the budget side, AMD has the crown. But it is still under Intel's shadow in the performance showdown.
    -34
  • babybeluga
    "I'm have two statements to make"

    You're kidding...first sentence of the entire article...
    -15
  • silverx75
    Quote:
    The 3.1 GHz Athlon II X3

    On the chart you put, it only says 3.0 GHz
    2
  • Dekasav
    So, zehpavora, you run the $1K 980X, right? 'Cause, there's no point in saving money to perform less.
    25
  • tainted_peak
    Seriously does anyone proof read these articles?
    -9
  • flyinfinni
    There are a number of mistakes in the clock speeds, but thats ok- I'm just happy they keep releasing faster CPU's for the same price as the older ones! :-)
    9
  • lauxenburg
    45W Quad? Crap....
    13
  • Anonymous
    Just can't wait for bulldozer... Must wait...
    9
  • thejerk
    zehpavoraWhat I could get from this was that AMD sells a long lasting processor (its technology is in the market for some time) for less money. Since this processor has a history, it performs in a very bad way compared to Intel's same level processors.However, to keep everything at lower prices, AMD bumps the core speed a little so you still use older technology, but it's faster. Blah blah blah...


    Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4

    Intel did it for nine years while operating under AMD's superior performance after the release of the original Athlon processor. Intel released the Pentium 4, and kept pushing clock speed to keep up with AMD, until they hit a brick wall and reinvented the wheel to give us the Core architecture.
    28
  • jfem
    Some typos needs to be fixed. Anyway, this is good news for me since I own an AMD mobo. I like AMD's tactic of increasing speed at the same price since I haven't learned yet about overclocking. I'm really interested in the upcoming llano. If its graphics core will really perform like a discrete 5770 then it'll really be exciting!!! =)
    13
  • gto127
    If that's true about fusion performing on par with a 5770(as stated in article), that would send most of the low end market to AMD. I see why Apple has taken such an interest lately. This kind of performance might also land them some next gen consoles that have the added benefit of being easy to program for.
    3
  • anamaniac
    Very nice AMD.
    Fabs have higher binning through time, so why not use it to your advantage?

    They could be like Intel and do things like offer a T9700, T9800, T9900, the T9900 costing more then some peoples entire systems.
    Instead, they just replace the lineup.

    It appears Intel is finally doing a fair binning system too though, so it should be interesting.

    This has already been a good year, and it's not over yet. :)

    Please fix all the typos in the CPU info.
    7
  • knowom
    AMD is still plagued by terrible power consumption comparatively speaking and worse clock for clock rates that matter for some applications like emulation that can only really take advantage of 2 cores.
    -19
  • wintermint
    AMD has done it again :D
    5
  • 4745454b
    I very much doubt the 5770 claim. That would be a HUGE "CPU", and doesn't follow their small die strategy.

    Nice job AMD. Looking forward to more articles showing how these, and this includes Intel's, CPU stack up to each other.
    3
  • blurr91
    Quote:
    What I could get from this was that AMD sells a long lasting processor (its technology is in the market for some time) for less money.


    Do you know that the current Intel Core processors trace their ancestry back to the Pentium Pro from 1996? Intel tried to reinvent the wheel with the P4. That went real well.
    6
  • ta152h
    What's with the "Switch and Bait" nonsense? Did you think it was clever?

    It happens all the time. Intel does it too. It's absolutely nothing new. Why so much drama about it?
    -14
  • ta152h
    thejerkRead this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4Intel did it for nine years while operating under AMD's superior performance after the release of the original Athlon processor. Intel released the Pentium 4, and kept pushing clock speed to keep up with AMD, until they hit a brick wall and reinvented the wheel to give us the Core architecture.


    Your "facts" are wrong. The Coppermine Pentium III generally outperformed the Athlon when it first came out, although the Athlon passed it for a while. The Northwood Pentium 4 generally outperformed the Athlon XP, and even the Athlon 64 wasn't faster than the Prescott and Presler CPUs at everything.

    So, it was certainly not nine straight years, and the Athlon 64 wasn't nearly as dominant over the Pentium 4 as the Nehalem is over AMDs current stuff. There were always a decent amount of apps that the Pentium 4 was faster in, although the Athlon 64 was faster in far more(Probably 80/20).

    Also, the Conroe was NOT a reinvention of the wheel, it was an evolution from the Pentium III, via the Pentium M mobile line.

    Still his whole point about using old technology is kind of strange, since the Pentium Pro came out in 1995, and is what the Nehalem is derived from. The Athlon came out four years later, so the age of the initial derivative design is clearly not the reason for the disparity in performance between the two.
    -19